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Chapter 11- Painting

Arden and I take opposite sides of the cabinets and begin painting them. We haven’t really spoken in a while but it definitely wasn’t awkward silence. It was comfortable and I wasn’t wanting to ruin the quietness. At least not right now. Part of me wants to ask him more about Cassy, get him talking and see if he will tell me more, but another part of me doesn’t want to push him. He did basically tell me that he likes my company because I didn’t pity him.

Deciding some music would be nice right about now, I move to my phone, plugging it into the portable speaker I had and it automatically starts blasting some rock music. It was the last station that I had playing previously.

Flushing slightly, I turn down the volume. “I’m sorry I didn’t think it was going to be that loud. What kind of music do you like?” I question, ready to change the station to something we could both enjoy. He was already smirking at me with that sexy half smirk of his as he shrugs his shoulders.

“This is fine. I didn’t picture you as a rock girl.” He raises an eyebrow at me curiously. I couldn’t help the smile from appearing before I stuck my tongue out at him, placing the volume on a comfortable level before returning to where I was painting moments ago. A song from The Offspring comes on and I begin singing along with it.

Half way through the song, I sneak a peek at Arden to see him lip singing along as well, nodding his head to the beat. I dance to my phone and turn it up, spinning back around to use my paintbrush as a pretend microphone as I belted out the lyrics. Arden throws his head back and laughs before he joins in, using his brush as a guitar.

We rock out until the song ends and I flick my arm out in a ‘Ta-Da’ motion, before watching as paint flings through the air and landing on Arden’s face. Mouth agape, his eyes find mine. He scowls playfully before he mummers, “Oh, Abby. You are going down.”

Next thing I know, he is reaching down, soaking his brush in the paint before flicking it back to me. I screech before grabbing my own paint, walking closer to him while sticking my hand in the paint. I slop out some paint and before he can run away, I grab his face with my hands. Pinching his cheeks, I joke. “Aw, you just look so cute! This is definitely your color!”

His eyes gloss over with humor before he is picking me up by my waist and laying me on the floor, attacking my sides with his long fingers. Laughing out, I try to wiggle away, or at least push his hands off of me but it was to no avail. “Arden! Please, s-stop!” I was gasping for breath before Arden pauses.

He looks at me with a mischievous glint in his eyes before he leans down and starts rubbing my face with the side of his that was covered in paint. The giggles leave me as I couldn’t help but let him do it. I try to move my hand up to his face to spread the paint more but he grabs both of my hands and holds them captive above my head. It wasn’t until my giggles left did I realize what position we were in.

Arden was straddling me, as his chest was holding mine down, and his face was right in front of mine. Arden’s expression turns serious as his eyes drop to my lips. I couldn’t help but lick them at the thought of our lips connecting. For a split second, I look at his mouth, almost begging with my eyes for him to kiss me. All I wanted in that moment was to feel his soft lips against my own. He sees this, and leans forward.

His lips were a hair away from mine when a loud crash rang out through the room, as the paint can that was on the counter splashes onto the ground and splatters all over us. We both jump at the noise, him moving off of me, while I sit up.

Shit, Cassy. I completely forgot she was there. Gosh, why am I so drawn to Arden? It’s like there is an invisible force linking us together and the more time we spend together, the bigger the force is. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I almost broke my promise to Cassy, yet again.

Arden stands, cursing under his breath before looking sheepishly at me, offering me a hand to stand up. I take it and rise. “Shit. I’m sorry, Abby. I guess I didn’t make sure the paint can was all the way on the counter. I’ll buy you more.”

Shaking my head at him, I wave my hand dismissively. “No need, I’m sure my other can will finish up the cabinets.” Agreeing, he moves back to the counter, picking up his brush and starting to paint again. I let out a shaky sigh, trying to slow my heart rate from our almost kiss. “Arden, you don’t have to continue painting, if you want you can leave to clean up or I have a shower, and I’m sure the family left some clothes that will fit you, I can throw your clothes in the wash.”

I could tell Arden’s ears were a pink color even though his back was to me. Biting back a smile, I wait for him to answer me back. After another moment, he meets my eye, giving me a blank look. “No, it’s fine. Let’s finish this room, we don’t have much left.” Before he turns away and continues to paint.

Okay? What the heck? Why is he acting so distant now? Did I do something wrong? I want to ask, but I know he won’t tell me, not until he is ready to. Letting out another sigh, I move back to my side of the cabinets and continue to paint them. I hope Cassy isn’t too upset. I will talk to her when Arden leaves and I hope she will forgive me. I’ll just have to pray that she can get over this little slip up.

From now on, I will try harder to make sure Arden and I don’t touch. That seems to be when I lose my self-control around him. I will keep the physical contact at nothing, not even an accidental brush of the fingers when I hand him his coffee in the mornings. But can I, do it? I seem to lean in to him and beg for his touch without even knowing it. All I know is I have to do something or else I will end up breaking my promise to Cassy.

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